Early Tree Trimming

(1930)* - Bureau of Power and Light tree trimmer on top of a palm tree.  


From LADWP's Historic Archives

July, 1930 - Maybe you didn’t know there are Tree Surgeons employed by the Bureau of Power and Light. It is a fact. And it is a further fact that since the establishment of the Bureau, the Tree Surgeons or Tree Trimmers have trimmed more than 1100 miles of trees in Los Angeles – enough to form a file one-third of the way across the continent.

MANY ORDERS – Under the general direction of W. C. Rotsell, these then men clear the way for new lines that are to be strung and keep clear the lines that already are in place. From half a dozen to more than three dozen orders come into Mr. Rotsell’s office daily.

There are times when it is deemed necessary to remove a tree from its habitation. This is done, says Mr. Rotsell, only when it is found to be absolutely essential. In every case of trimming or removing of trees on property of individuals, the owner first must grant his permission.

ALL IN DAY’S WORK – The Tree Surgeons are not particular what kind of tree is the scene of their operations. It’s all in the day’s work whether they trim a gum tree, more commonly known AS THE Eucalyptus, or a pepper tree, an acacia, camphor, pine or palm. There are even trees to be trimmed of which no one knows the pronunciation thereof and without the pronunciation how can one spell them, and if one cannot spell them he cannot print them.

The two crews of Tree Surgeons are as follows:

W. J. Fielding, Clyde Wilson, George Watkins, W. M. Holman, Otto Michelke, Robert Warfield, R. O. Marshall, Ed Johnson, J. C. Triska, and L. D. Marks. The foremen of the two crews are Clyde Wilson and L. D. Marks.

DAILY LISTS – every morning Mr. Rotsell receives a list of the work to be undertaken. After checking the lists he transmits them to the proper crew. The crews have routes which they follow in carrying out their tree trimming.

The foreman of each crew, of course, supervises directly the details of the work on the trees. Each crew of five has its own truck which transports not only the men and their tools but the branches and limbs that have been trimmed from the tree.**





(1930)* - Tree trimming crew at work cutting branches under power lines.  





(1930)* - Tree Trimmers - left to right: W. J. Fielding, Clyde Wilson, (foreman), George Watkins, W. M. Holman, Otto Michelke.  



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References and Credits

* DWP - LA Public Library Image Archive

**LADWP Historic Archive



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